Clairvest-backed Discovery Air to buy airborne training services company ATSI

Specialty aviation company Discovery Air Inc (TSX: DA) has agreed to purchase for an undisclosed sum Advanced Training Systems International Inc (ATSI), a U.S airborne training services company based in Mesa, Arizona. The acquisition, which the company said will take advantage of growth potential in the airborne training services market, will be made by its subsidiary business Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. The deal is expected to close within the next 30 days, with ATSI’s majority shareholder having already agreed to vote in favour. The Etobicoke, Ontario-based Discovery Air is a portfolio company of Canadian mid-market private equity firm Clairvest Group. Clairvest made a $70 million investment in the company in 2011.


Discovery Air announces pending acquisition of Advanced Training Systems International

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2013 /CNW/ – Discovery Air Inc. (“Discovery Air”) announced today the pending acquisition of Advanced Training Systems International, Inc. (“ATSI”) by Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Air).

ATSI is a U.S. airborne training services company based in Mesa, Arizona. It currently owns a fleet of ten (10) Douglas A-4 Skyhawk aircraft and offers airborne training services, including, among other services, tactical “Red Air” services, fighter lead-in training, electronic warfare, radar theory and other combat tactics. Although ATSI currently has minimal operations and revenues, it previously provided airborne training services to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and the Canadian Forces, and has also provided advanced operational test and evaluation services such as air-to-air refueling trials.

Jacob Shavit, Discovery Air’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “We are delighted to add ATSI to the Discovery Air Group of Companies. We believe there is significant growth potential in the airborne training services market and are excited about becoming an industry leader.”

Completion of the transaction remains subject to the approval of ATSI’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions. ATSI’s largest shareholder, which owns approximately 85% of ATSI’s issued and outstanding capital stock, has agreed to vote its shares in favor of the transaction in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Completion of the transaction was also subject to the receipt of approvals from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the U.S. Department of State, both of which have been received. Discovery Air expects the transaction to close within the next 30 days.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements (as defined in applicable securities laws). Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “believe”, “expect”, “should” and variations thereof. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those identified in Management’s Discussion and Analysis relating to Discovery Air’s financial statements, which are available at

In the case of Discovery Air’s future potential in the market, such expectations could be materially affected by, among other things, decisions by governments with respect to the outsourcing of airborne training requirements, actions taken by Discovery Air’s competitors, and changes in laws or procurement policies. As a result of such risks and uncertainties, it is possible that Discovery Air’s expectations may not be realized, and readers should not place undue reliance on such statements.

Forward-looking statements represent expectations as of the date they are made, and Discovery Air disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements it may make, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.


Discovery Air is a specialty aviation company operating over 160 aircraft with approximately 850 team members. Its subsidiaries provide airborne training to the Canadian military; helicopter operations; air ambulance services; airborne fire services; fixed-wing air charter services; expediting and logistics support; and a range of maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, engineering and certification services.

Discovery Air’s Class A common voting shares and unsecured convertible debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbols DA.A and DA.DB.A, respectively).

SOURCE Discovery Air Inc.

For further information:
Sheila Venman
Investor Relations
(866) 903-3247

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